Drug vending machines installed in 57 prisons

By chillinwill · Jul 16, 2009 · ·
  1. chillinwill
    As part of the Government’s ‘harm reduction’ programme, methadone vending machines have been installed in 57 prisons at a cost of £4 million.

    The technology will dispense methadone, a heroin substitute, to prisoners who will take it under the supervision of a health professional.

    The approach has been criticised by Dominic Grieve, the Shadow Justice Secretary.

    He said: “The public will be shocked that Ministers are spending more on methadone vending machines than the entire budget for abstinence based treatments.”

    He added: “Getting prisoners clean of drugs is one of the keys to getting them to go straight.”

    Mr Grieve continued: “We need to get prisoners off all drug addiction – not substitute one dependency for another. The Government’s approach of trying to ‘manage’ addiction is an admission of failure.”

    Methadone-dispensing machines are planned to be eventually installed in half of the 140 prisons in England and Wales.

    The machines deliver the drugs to prisoners identified by iris and fingerprint scanning.

    In May the Government’s ‘harm reduction’ approach to tackling illegal drug use was dubbed a £10 billion failure.

    Kathy Gyngell, of the Centre for Policy Studies, said the approach was trapping people in “state-sponsored addiction”.

    In 2008, the Scottish Government said it would drop its harm reduction policy deciding to focus instead on “recovery and helping people live drug-free lives”.

    Holyrood estimates that the drug problem costs taxpayers £2.6 billion each year. There are an estimated 22,000 drug abusers on the methadone programme in Scotland.

    Professor McKeganey of Glasgow University’s Centre for Drug Misuse Research had attacked the use of methadone in drug treatment.”

    He said: “I think far too much [money] is being absorbed by the methadone programme.

    He added: “I think we need to refocus where that money is spent. We need to massively increase the availability of residential rehabilitation”.

    Thursday July 16, 2009
    The Christian Institute

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  1. crackcityrocker
    thats right, lets just not admit that the way we're trying to do things isnt helping anybody. if one approach to a problem is not working, isnt it reasonable to try another route?
  2. ODB
    Welcome to the NWO.

    Drug vending machines.....but only in prisons to keep them chilly chill.
  3. trptamene
    Imma go commit a crime for methadone, it would be easier than getting my drugs from a doctor or a drug-dealer, w00t!

    Of hourse harm reduction doesnt work, it's hard to reduce harm when the illegitimate nature of drug use is the cause of the harm they try to reduce, like a dog chasing its tail.
  4. samsa
    Methadone vending machines in UK prisons

    I dont live in the UK, so Im not sure if this is a hot topic there or not.

    Prison brings in drug vending machine

    INMATES at Shrewsbury Prison are being given a heroin substitute through vending machines.
    The Dana is among a number of prisons to have machines installed which automatically dispense methadone.
    The machines, which allow prisoners to access the drug directly by scanning their fingerprint or iris, are already operating in 57 prisons as part of a £4 million initiative.
    The scheme will eventually see the machines installed in half the 140 prisons in England and Wales.
    Shadow justice secretary Dominic Grieve, who uncovered details of the scheme, said it amounted to an “admission of failure” in attempts to get addicts clean.
    The total cost of the machines exceeds by £1 million the amount spent on an abstinence programme aimed at getting addicts off drugs, he said.
    “The public will be shocked that ministers are spending more on methadone vending machines than the entire budget for abstinence-based treatments,” said Mr Grieve.
    “Getting prisoners clean of drugs is one of the keys to getting them to go straight.
    “We need to get prisoners off all drug addiction – not substitute one dependency for another. The Government’s approach of trying to ‘manage’ addiction is an admission of failure,” he added.
    Methadone prescription is official policy for tackling heroin withdrawal. Its supporters say it gives the best hope of breaking the chaotic cycle of hardcore heroin use.
    Critics say methadone just replaces one dependency with another.
    A Department of Health spokeswoman said the money spent on the dispensers was only a fraction of the £40 million spent on drug treatment programmes and the wider £240 million offender health budget.
    “Clinical professionals decide what treatments are best for individuals, but ultimately, all of them are aimed at getting people off drugs,” she said.
    “Methadone dispensers are a safe and secure method for providing a prescribed treatment.
    “They can only be accessed by the person who has been clinically assessed as needing methadone and that person is recognised by a biometric marker, such as their iris.”
    By London Reporter Sunita Patel

  5. missparkles
    Re: Methadone vending machines in UK prisons

    Swim thinks managing addiction, not hiding it like some dirty little secret, is the first step in acknowledging it's existence.
    Acceptance of this problem brings it into the open, shines more light on it and raises awareness. Honesty is the key to dealing with this problem.
    This has to be good in swims opinion, certainly not a fail.:thumbsup:
  6. mr.mackey
    Re: Methadone vending machines in UK prisons

    Exactly, the war on drugs is useless, if the authority figures of the western world hope to reduce the negative effects of drug use, its programs like these that are the best option, harm reduction and rehabilitation, not punishment help prisoners
  7. missparkles
    Re: Methadone vending machines in UK prisons

    Spot on advice.
    But if all addicts were helped and shown to be "human beings" capable of rational thought, empathy and intelligence, unlike the way they're perceived today, who would the media and the public demonise then?
    Addicts do serve a purpose, albeit a negative one.;)
  8. trixion
    Swim might not agreed to the dispensing idea...the purpose of the program is good. Somehow swim will feel that the program will be abused by people. Swiy will understand if one who has no way to turn too but to the jail for drugs. They will be more than happy to surrender themselves.
    How to seperate who really need the program and who do not? Any guidlines for that?
    Swim know that there are such a thing in jail as drug keeping. The prisoners will appear to eat the pills but they are cleverly hidden in their mouth and kept for later consumption. Some exchange the pills for daily necessities or return favours. This skill can be made prefect by making bread into pill shape and practicing it with drinking water.
    If a couple of days of doses is kept, the users will used at 1 go. The abusing of drugs will starting from the heart of prison. Are there ways to prevent such a thing from happening?
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